My New Music Video, Chain Letter!

Posted in Andrew Lee, Willie Simpson's Original Music on December 22nd, 2013 by Willie

UPDATE: 12/22/2013.  This song has undergone an significant overhaul in the past few months. First, the immortal Feliziano B. Flores came by to help me flesh out the chorus and middle part. Mr. Flores was wonderfully inspiring, providing incredible work under time pressured conditions and my less than reliable producing. I thank him for that. Still, after working through some changes with the talented FBF, it still was missing something. At long last I found the missing piece and balance needed to send the song off on the glittering flying saucer I envisioned in my head when I first created it. As a result, I pulled the original YouTube video down and replaced it with the one below. I hope you enjoy it as I near the finish line of finally finishing my new album, Funeral Business!

Originally published on September 7, 2012: I wrote this song by accident.  I came home from Australia after five months of having no guitar to play with, and started to write a song about how miserable life could be.  The opening line, “27 lonely years, you’ll be living with your fears, if you don’t send, this message to your friends,” was all I had.  I had no idea what the song would be about, but I loved the rhyme scheme and the rapid fire delivery.  As I kept writing lines that fit the pattern, it dawned on me that I was writing about the doom and gloom found in chain letters.  After that revelation, it was only a matter of ripping off “Paperback Writer” and “Day Tripper,” and boom, I had a delirious new psychedelic pop song.  My last music video, “Funeral Business,” featured the Ghostbusters rocking out to that jam, so I figured I’d return to the pop culture well for the equally spooky “Chain Letter.”  One of my favorite shows ever, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” offered the perfect template for a song about tempting supernatural fate.  I’d like to thank my friend Andrew Lee, first and foremost, for his incredible guitar solo.  I’d also like to thank Lilja Nielsen for much needed video editing critiques, and the brilliant George Gross for more of the same.  Lastly I’d like to thank my friends Matt Sturm, Sonia Rapaport, and Ian Wehrle for a bunch of moral support and musical advice.  That’s enough yapping, so please enjoy the song and video below, and remember, chain letters only work when you share them with all your friends, so if you don’t wish to be cursed with 27 years of misfortune, please share this video with everyone you can!

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Willie Simpson, Funeral Business Meets the Ghostbusters!

Posted in Willie Simpson's Original Music on May 2nd, 2012 by Willie

So, several months ago, I posted a song I made called “Funeral Business,” on this site.  The presentation of the song was wrapped around a simple title card youtube video, nothing fancy.  Well, consider the fanciness level knocked up a notch.  Over the past month, I’ve been slaving away on music video extravaganza for this song, and after 9 versions, its finally ready to the world.  The video features your favorite Ghostbusters, as well as your favorite ancillary Ghostbuster characters, all rocking with spooky verve to “Funeral Business,” a song of thrashingly dynamic rock power.  The song’s origins trace back to my college days, neglected, but never forgotten.  When I dusted it off last Spring, I had my good friend and musical genius Ian Wehrle help me flesh out some lyrics and construct a better bridge.  I then brought in another musical genius, Andrew Lee, to play the jaw dropping guitar solo that appears in the middle of the song.  The second, and less draw dropping guitar solo, was performed by me, so future Andrew Lee fans, don’t judge that solo’s simplicity with that of Mr. Lee’s now legendary, um, future achievements.  The rest of the music was produced and performed by yours truly, Willie Simpson.  The video itself, which went through 9 alterations, was willed into its final version with aid coming in the form of technical advice and moral support from film making genius, George Gross.  George is an up and coming movie man whose work not only helped inspire this video, but has been featured on this very site.  (Just click his name to see.)  The deliciously cool title card sequence was edited and co-conceived by this site’s brilliant banner creator, Sonia Rapaport, an insanely talented visual artist in her own right.  I also want to thank Lilja Nielsen, my  sonically battered roommate, who provided candid insight with each incarnation, as well as enormous patience as “soooulll” echoed endlessly throughout our little apartment.  With that, I proudly present, “Funeral Business,” for you all to enjoy and share with your friends.

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Bob Marley, Duppy Conqueror, Rare Studio Take

Posted in Bob Marley, Youtube Favs on August 10th, 2011 by Willie

We’re back in the 1974 Catch a Fire sessions as Bob Marley and the Wailers cut a fifth version of “Duppy Conqueror.”  What is a “duppy,” and why is Bob conquering them?  Interesting question.  Well, in Jamaica, duppy is slang for ghost, and Bob was thinking about opening up a Jamaican branch of the Ghostbusters.  Actually, according to legend, i.e. Wikipedia, Bob’s success was bringing a lot of leeches and hangers on, draining his spirit like vampires (duppys.)  Bob was determined to rise above the situation and conqueror them, and presto, a song was born.  The song itself is a beautiful slow harmonized jam about overcoming prisons both mental and physical.  It’s a great abstract metaphor and a great song.  Bob sings it so soulfully, yet again bringing his unique perspective to a universal pop context.  Genius at work here folks.  Enjoy.

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